Endgame: Bruins 3, Penguins 1
Monday, 12.5.2011 / 10:20 PM ET / Features
By Sam Kasan
Pens-Bruins In-Game Blog
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All you need to know about the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Pens:
Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead and behind the superb goaltending of Tim Thomas that three-goal advantage was enough to stand up for the win.
Thomas made 44 saves in the contest and was the biggest factor in Boston’s success. If not for his efforts the game could have tilted in Pittsburgh’s favor.
“He made some good saves,” Sidney Crosby said. “We didn’t make it as difficult as we would like, but he definitely made some good saves when he needed to. Give him credit he made some good ones there, especially on that five-on-three.”
The Pens had an incredible opportunity to change the scope of the contest late in the second period while trailing 2-0. In a play that rarely happens, the Bruins were assessed two penalties on the same sequence of play, with the two referees each calling one. Benoit Pouliot ran into Marc-Andre Fleury and was called for goaltender interference. As the Penguins attacked with a delayed call Rich Peverley was assessed a hooking penalty, giving Pittsburgh a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play.
The Penguins generated a number of scoring chances, including a point-blank shot from Evgeni Malkin that Thomas stopped. Dennis Seidenberg made a goal-saving stick check on Steve Sullivan at the side of the net. Sullivan had a wide-open net to shoot into, but Seidenberg’s stick work didn’t even allow him to get a off a shot.
“I think when you come away from that amount of time on the 5-on-3, you’re not going to feel real good,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “But we had some good looks. We made some low plays for opportunities. We had a couple shots from up top. We didn’t capitalize on that situation. I think any power play going into a 5-on-3 like that, especially with two minutes, you’re looking to capitalize. And if you don’t, you feel like you let a real, real good opportunity slip away in which we didn’t get those goals.”
There was scary moment for captain Sidney Crosby. Teammate Chris Kunitz stepped out of the penalty box after his tripping call expired. The two Penguins collided at center ice and hit knee-on-knee. Though Kunitz bounced back up, Crosby remained down in obvious pain, slow to get up and skated gingerly, hunched over to the bench. He returned to the game and finished it off.
“I don’t know what I hit my knee on, whether it was his leg,” Crosby said. “It was just kind of a bit of a stinger, but nothing major.”
“I was worried about both players’ health, the way they both got up,” Bylsma said. “That was two guys running into each other. They both limped to the bench. I was worried about both guys’ health.”
Another scare occurred minutes later when Malkin successfully avoided a check from Zdeno Chara, but then collided with Daniel Paille near the boards. The two men hit head-to-head and Malkin was shaken up on the play and cut above the lip. He left for the locker room, but returned to finish the game.
Joe Vitale made an unbelievable to play to set up the Penguins’ only goal in the third period. Vitale carried the puck down the near wall and made a perfect pass to Cooke atop the crease. Cooke re-directed the puck into the net.
Vitale followed that up by crashing the net hard. An encounter erupted when Vitale skated hard in the crease looking for a loose puck under Thomas. A scrum broke out at the Bruins goal and Vitale came away locked arm-and-arm with Gregory Campbell.
The Pens rookie held his own and a landed a few solid hooks before taking his opponent down to the ice.
Author: Sam Kasan